If only my dd would understand I am not a scrooge and I am only trying to help her.

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Posted 12/27/2012 by pafer in NSBR Board
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PeaNut 127,675
January 2004
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:04:03 PM
My oldest dd has had a tough couple weeks. She had a really bad test grade and is having trouble with the new math curriculum so we hired a tutor for her a few weeks ago. She says this makes her feel like we think she is stupid. No amount of reassurance has helped change her mind about this and she is not the only one having math troubles this year.

She went to a birthday party at a family friends home and broke her leg on the trampoline and is dealing with a cast and crutches and not able to put any weight on her leg at all. This happened the last week of school right before Christmas.

She got her big Christmas wish of an I pod touch and her little sister dropped and broke it today so she will be unable to use it for a few days until we can get it replaced. So she is in a super bad mood.

Then on top of all this she has been given bonus math work to do that has to be completed by the end of january. Evil mean mom realizes that with all her normal homework there is not going to be much time to complete this math when school starts back and I have tried to get her to work on it for the past two days.

Add to the bonus math work (which amounts to over 100 math questions) the fact that she has a Social Studies Fair paper due early February and the abstract for that paper due the second week school goes back. Again evil mom realizes this will take more than a few hours to write as it requires an abstract, introduction, several main body paragraphs, parenthetical references a conclusion and a bibliography and then a display board to be judged.

So if you have read this far please tell me how to get her to stop sarcastically telling me Merry Christmas over and over and over and how to get her to realize I am trying to help her. I swear I am going to ground her for life if I hear it one more time.

I have already told her Christmas is over and I understand she is on holidays but that she will not have time to do all of this with her regular homework load and her extra activities already scheduled for January. She continues to pout and just sit doodling and not making any attempt to do the work.

'Cause I'm as free as a bird now

PeaNut 104,551
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:07:45 PM
"Who the hell do you think you're talking to? Speak to me like that again and you won't be seeing that new ipod for quite some time."
Then add one day for every sarcastic "merry Christmas"

Be a mom, not a friend.


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PeaNut 51,689
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:11:11 PM
I'm sorry she's being such a brat. I would be tempted to let her have her 'merry Christmas' and let her suffer the consequences when she doesn't get all her work completed. How old is she?


PeaNut 216,512
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:12:37 PM
I would say this is the last time I'm going to remind you of all the homework you have and walk away. Then the ball is in her court. If the work doesn't get done then she has to pay the consequences.


PeaNut 259,367
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:14:03 PM
How old is she? Sounds like she has a lot going on.

At some point, it is on her shoulders. She needs to decide it is important to her. Perhaps it will happen after she has a bit of a break.

Is this part of a larger pattern? Maybe she needs classes more suited to her work ethic? Is she taking these classes for you or for her? Does she want to be taking a math class that she struggles so much in? Perhaps slowing down a bit would solidify the skills she needs.

Given all she has been through recently, I'd cut her some slack and let her have a break. She will likely do the work when she feels the need to. It's hard to sit back and watch your kids make obvious mistakes or do things differently from the way we would do them if our way is better, but they need to find their own way in life or they will be with us forever.


PeaNut 392,446
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:14:05 PM
Just tell her it's fine and you will wait to see what college admin and her tutor say before taking it further.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 220,508
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:14:39 PM
Either do what free bird suggests or tell her it's the last time you are going to remind her and if she fails or falls behind it's on her.

I had to do that with my son and his speech class. Nagged, whined, threatened and nothing worked. i finally let him fail. He ended up paying $200 and going to summer school at 7AM for 6 weeks. We haven't had a problem since then with not getting work done.

do justice, love mercy

PeaNut 265,707
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:15:17 PM
If it were me - I would suspect that she is feeling defeated and worn down, and I would look for some way to make her feel good about herself, some way she can feel successful or significant or just generally positive. I think her shitty attitude is coming from things being difficult the last while - she may be feeling some depression especially from her injury - and I don't think I would try to punish it out of her.

I don't know if that's a movie date, a craft project, or what - but I would pick something that she really likes and can do right now and make sure she gets a chance to do it.

THEN I would try again with the homework. Because everybody knows that it's easier to take on a task when you aren't feeling like complete crap. A pick-me-up sounds in order to me.

Half Way There!

PeaNut 373,866
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:18:17 PM
She has had a rough go of it lately, but she is new to this life thing, and she needs to realize that that's just how it is sometimes. She can continue to sulk, but either way, the work has to get done. She may as well do it now. It's a lesson we all have to learn. She won't be graded on her attitude, but the completion of her work. She'll regret wasting time when it comes down to the wire. Yet another lesson to learn.

As far as her continuing to do what you asked her not to do with the sarcasm, her hard times and bad attitude don't exempt her from being respectful or the consequences of ignoring that rule.


PeaNut 127,675
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:20:57 PM
Free-Bird I swear those words already came out of my mouth. I have already threatened the lost of the touch telling her we will just not have it repaired and she will never see it again. Aussie Meg she is 11 going on 20!!! Not a single friend would accuse me of being the mom that would rather be friends with my children as I am pretty tough with my girls. I am struggling with this because it is a school holiday and it has been a rather tough 6th grade year for many reasons beyond what I have stated and not all are within her control. I needed a break from it as the parent that has to struggle with the homework with her so I can relate to how she feels.

I feel her frustration and understand her needing a break but wish she would be a bit more motivated and a little less angry with me all the time. I guess I am just looking for some creative ways to get her to see me as less of a villain right now.


PeaNut 69,597
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:21:09 PM
I'm also curious, before I answer, how old is she?


Monica D
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PeaNut 20,988
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:23:05 PM
I wouldn't put up with the sarcastic talking, but try to remember that at her age (I'm guessing early teens?) everything that happens is a MAJOR ordeal and it sounds like she's had a rough couple of weeks. I'm not saying you should excuse her behavior, but when kids are that age they get overwhelmed very easily (combination of hormones + lack of perspective/life experience). When my kids are like that I try to give them a little space ; it's better for them and for me. I'm assuming she doesn't go back to school for another week and a half or so...maybe give her a couple days until you start working on the math. Good luck--I have two teens so I feel your pain!

ETA: 6th grade is a tough year for a lot of kids...they're not little but they're not old, and the expectations at school are a lot higher. She's probably been holding a lot in and now that there's a break you're seeing her release some stress. Unfortunately the brunt of that comes out at home. The middle school years are NOT fun!


Henny Button

PeaNut 287,526
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:24:53 PM
Moveablefeast said EXACTLY what I was thinking. If I were in your DD's place, I'd probably be acting the same way. She's got to be feeling like crap right now.

Give her a couple more days before asking about he projects again. It sounds like she really needs a break.

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PeaNut 164,125
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:28:34 PM
I'd stop reminding her. She has had a tough couple of weeks and has a right to be angry that her ipod touch is now broken.

Make her a list with a time line of what needs to be done for school and when...then leave it up to her. Tell her you're there to help her and all she has to do is ask. Then drop it.

Now as for the sarcasm....yeah that so would not fly and sounds like it does not in your house either. Middle schoolers brains are all over the place...they say and do really dumb and silly things (I used to teach that age group). Or kill her with kindness...LOL...no use getting into an argument with her because even if you "win"...you lose.

I was on crutches one year at Christmas and it sucked!

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PeaNut 127,675
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:34:43 PM

Is this part of a larger pattern? Maybe she needs classes more suited to her work ethic? Is she taking these classes for you or for her? Does she want to be taking a math class that she struggles so much in? Perhaps slowing down a bit would solidify the skills she needs.

I don't think she is old enough at 11 to have a larger pattern going on. She is in the 6th grade and not able to pick her own classes yet. The work she is doing is all required and part of the new curriculum being put in place by our state in response to the new national curriculum. The work load is ridiculous as I am sure any teacher would tell you and it is not always developmentally appropriate for the age of the children.

The new curriculum basically has brought 7th and 8th grade math concepts down into the 6th grade. She is not the only child struggling this year and I swear there is something bigger going on. The last math test had to be repeated by the majority of the students as they all failed including students that have always been on the honor roll with her.

The social studies fair project is required in her school in 6th grade and counts toward not only a social studies grade but also as a few ELA grades. If I left her to her own devices and did not nag her to do it the consequences could be failing grades in more than one subject. I am not sure that would be a lesson I am ready to teach her at this age.


PeaNut 129,041
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:36:18 PM
I have a 6th grade dd too. She also broke her arm this fall! Anyway, she can be pretty terrible with the attitude too. So when it comes to school work, I sit her down with a calendar. I show her when I will be available to help with projects and when I won't. We mark out when she has other commitments. Then I let her decide when she'll be working on things. If she has more control over that, then she tends to have a better attitude about getting it done.

I don't think that at 11 she's ready to sink or swim. I'm trying to teach her time management.

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PeaNut 526,154
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:37:17 PM
Squirt bottle of water. Shoot her when she says Merry Christmas.

I dunno, works on the cats...

Poor girl. You are having to teach her that even when life is crap, we still have responsibilities, we still need to prepare for life.


PeaNut 434,842
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:37:51 PM
Sit down with her and make a list of all the work that absolutely HAS to be done over break (whatever doesn't, put it off until later). Then make a detailed plan of what exactly has to be done each day by splitting up the work into manageable chunks. (For example, 5 days for 100 math problems = 20 problems a day). The plan fun evenings for each day that she only gets to do if and when her work for that day is completed. Decide together on the schedule and on what the fun evenings will be.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 75,215
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:42:20 PM
Oh, she's younger than I expected with all that work. I'd cut her some slack with all that's going on. My DS is 15 and I've traded video game time and a sleepover to get some work out of him. He was totally good about it -- 24 hours of games (ok, I'm exaggerating!) and he was ready to do something else.

Is there something special you can do to give her some fun time before buckling down for a bit?

I don't think the kid deserves punishments for not wanting to do all that school work over break. I'd probably go with bribes for someone whose best present was broken and is on crutches.

Typical Liberal

PeaNut 221,236
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:48:09 PM
Do we have the same 11 year old daughter? LOL We've had quite an eventful 6th grade year with her already, right down to issues with math. In fact we're getting ready to enroll her at Mathnasium despite her very loud protests because she's failed her 3rd 6 weeks in math (test scores: 37 and 64 percent, respectively) despite a really good and honest effort to improve.

But generally, getting her to do the extra work assigned to help her is like pulling teeth, and she also drags her feet on projects and needs to be harangued to get anything done.

I do find that turning immediately sour on her when she is flip or sarcastic often exacerbates the problem instead of solving it. Staying firm but relentlessly positive - letting her see that her poor attitude has no effect on ME, and neither does it distract me or get her out of anything I expect her to do - has worked better in our house. And while we are her parents and not just her friends, a bit of friendly, positive encouragement has gone a long way toward improving her attitude. No one likes to struggle and feel stupid - being 11 is hard enough without schoolwork troubles.

I tried a bit of tough love on her a few weeks ago when she was running late for school with somewhat disastrous results - if you decide to let her live with the consequences of her actions, just be sure you're prepared to live with them, too.

I've been trying to teach my DD to set small goals and rewards for herself - "When I complete two pages in my packet, I'll watch an episode of Dance Moms on my Kindle" - and she seems to enjoy the grown-up feeling of deciding how much she'll complete and what the reward will be. I don't know how long that will last but we're going with it for now.

ETA: The surest way I know to stop the "Merry Christmas" sarcasm is to take her literally. Happily thank her, wish her a Merry Christmas in return and give her a big hug for being so thoughtful. Getting the opposite reaction from the one she was hoping for should stop her in her tracks.

And we're not in Louisiana, but just across the border in Texas, and I agree with you about the 6th grade math standards being ridiculous. Lots of algebraic concepts that the kid is just not ready for yet. Very complex multi-step problems. It's hard.


PeaNut 127,675
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:56:38 PM
I would have bribed her with a pedicure but she can't get her cast wet! I did tell her she would be able to have a friend over for a sleepover but we have not planned it yet. I can use that as leverage. On a positive note she is sitting trying to write an abstract for her paper but grumbling about it.

I should note that there was absolutely no instruction given by the teacher on how to write an abstract or any kind of research paper. All they got was a packet of written instructions with an example of an abstract. She wrote a paper for her social studies fair project in 4th grade with much help from her dad and I as it was optional that year and they had not been taught to write a research paper yet. She did not get a grade so she submitted the same paper with modifications last year when the project was required work. I should note they did not get taught last year how to do this intense a research project either. She won her division at her school and went to district where she placed 2nd and got to go to State to represent her school.

She had to option of adding to that project and using it again this year but we felt it was in her best interest to start from scratch and learn more about how to write a paper. Turns out there won't be much instruction on that at school though and we again will be the main source of instruction on how to write the paper. She is excited about the topic she picked and seemed eager to start and yet here we sit in a battle of stubborn will and bad attitude.

Thanks for the suggestions and for the ears to listen to me grumble.

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PeaNut 159,331
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Posted: 12/27/2012 4:58:02 PM

Leave her alone. Let her fail if it comes down to that. She knows what she has to do. She'll do it, or she won't. And if she chooses not to, she'll have the consequences to deal with.

Better she learn the lessons now than in high school.

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PeaNut 308,882
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Posted: 12/27/2012 5:03:17 PM
Why is she doing anything besides her home work. Homework comes first, if it is not done then she should not be doing anything ells, that includes playing with her new i touch.

The one that broke the i touch she be
Working off the Coast to repair it

I have quite a few learing disabilitys that effect my spelling a grammer. I do know my grammer and spelling suck. I have been working on this problem all my adult life.

Bad Wolf

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Posted: 12/27/2012 5:09:00 PM
Sixth grade? Let her fail, she'll learn how to prioritize and failing wont majorly impact her future. Sometimes it's the only way to get through to kids. The sarcasm however, would necessitate a trip to her room until she gets the attitude under control.

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PeaNut 223,117
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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:20:35 PM
6th grade.... Is she over doing it in general? If the school load is that thick normally, I'd back off of any extra curricular stuff. But I am kind of with her.... Let her be a kid and enjoy her break from school! I am not a fan of school over vacation time.

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Peaing From Podunk

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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:21:59 PM

Sixth grade? Let her fail, she'll learn how to prioritize and failing wont majorly impact her future. Sometimes it's the only way to get through to kids. The sarcasm however, would necessitate a trip to her room until she gets the attitude under control.

I agree with Maureen.


Mother Goose's Meandering Mind

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 87,597
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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:25:13 PM
We would not be letting our child talk to us like that. No ipod at all until she gets rid of the attitude. AS for her work, I would tell her again about what she needs to do, tell her if she starts working on it now, you are there to help her out. But you are not helping if she waits until the last minute and if she gets in trouble, it's her fault.

Sorry you are dealing with this! My friend has a son in 6th grade, and she says he is very difficult! I think for some kids it is the age where they act out.

How about you, Lash LaRue?

PeaNut 51,689
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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:29:41 PM
Oh, she's only 11. I assumed she was well into her teens after you described her Social Studies Fair paper - it sounds complicated!

I guess I would cut her some slack for a day or 2, have some fun with her, but explain that you expect her to start on the homework the next day. I agree totally with IleneTell, help her cut it down into manageable chunks. It sounds like a lot of work and she is probably feeling really overwhelmed.

Nicole in TX
The Peas did what we do and went insane over it

PeaNut 16,696
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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:37:46 PM
That is a lot for an 11 year old. She is probably hormonal as hell too.

I would have a heart to heart discussion focusing on:

- her sucky atititude
- your acknowledgement of everything she is going through
- how exhausting/frustrating/frightening it must seem to her
- that you decided she does need to enjoy her break so no school work until after break
- that she needs to come up with a daily plan of what is going to get done after break and write it on a calendar
- the fact that she will be held accountable to the plan and if not, the iPod will disappear

One more thing- my mom hired a tutor for my brother for high school math. He is now earning his doctorate at UC Berkely in logic, a mathematically intensive program. He obviously was not 'stupid.'

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 43,893
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Posted: 12/27/2012 6:44:37 PM
Well smart kids have tutors too. We hired an academic coach for our DD who has straight high A's in all honors classes. But we felt that she was too stressed and had poor study habits and poor time management. She was getting incredibly anxious and managing her emotions poorly when dealing with school dead lines etc. We got a recommendation from her school counselor and we went to this place that specializes in school anxiety and she first saw a therapist in the group to be sure that the anxiety/stress was not a medical/mental health issue then, when they were sure it was not a health issue, she moved to the academic coach and it had helped tremendously. She has been able to become much more balanced and able to handle her tough schedule in a more healthy manner.

It was important to us that our child be balanced and happy, because the straight A's were not worth the stress and anxiety she was going thru and she was putting us through. I'd rather have low Bs and a happy kid to be honest. So I went to her school guidance counselor and asked how to deal with the stress. They recommended a place locally. We had started with a regular therapist a year and a half ago and it did nothing to help. But the place recommended by her school has worked well.

DD has also had an issue that we felt she was 'stupid' or 'crazy' but that was not it at all we were just unqualified to give her the tool to manage her academics. We told her it was our issue because we did not know how to help her. After awhile she accepted this. So just be consistent with telling your child that they are not dumb but that you are not trained or qualified to give her the tools to solve this so you have found someone who is. Once she has the tools she will be able to succeed.

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Posted: 12/27/2012 7:15:03 PM
When I was a kid if I even dared to respond to my dad in a sarcastic way, I would have been eating baby food for the rest of my life. He was fair but by golly you knew what was acceptable and what was not. a little fear is okay, kwim? A sarcastic response is not acceptable. I strongly suggest nipping that in the bud now or it's only going to get worse.

Then, I agree with moveable feast. Sounds like the girl has had a sucky time lately. Never mind the hormones are probably all over the place but even that isn't an excuse for rude behavior.

Squirt bottle of water. Shoot her when she says Merry Christmas.

I dunno, works on the cats...

I'm sorry but that really funny!


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Posted: 12/27/2012 7:33:42 PM
I would give her the choice of what day during break she wants to do school work. Agree on a set amount of time (an hour or so), take a break and work another hour and then she's done. Kids that age are over scheduled and just need time to hang out and be bored. She's had a rough time. I'd focus on her recharging, so that she is ready for school to start up again.

I'm a type A person and the toughest thing I ever did was let my near-genius DS fail when he was in 7th grade. The projects are so much more involved, but very do-able when worked on in small increments. After talking with his counselor, I backed off. And he got a C. That was a hard reality for my kid who had straight As without even trying.

I've never had a problem with him again. He's 15, a sophomore, taking his first AP class with a 98%. He just knows he wants all As and knows he has to work for it at times. It's better that they find it out in middle school, before they get to high school. It's hard, but some of my best life lessons that I learned were by failing. And I'm still here.

And the attitude? DD (13) is the worst about that. Call her on it every time. Once you let it slide, it's down hill from there. I ask if they want to repeat that or if they want a "do over". I'm not mean, but I just say that we don't talk to each other that way. And they are allowed to go to their room and be by themselves for a while. A bad attitude usually means that that they need time to recharge.

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PeaNut 290,599
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Posted: 12/27/2012 7:48:53 PM
From my own experience with my now 16 yo DD -- I thought 6th grade was a tough year. Transitioning to middle school and a more intensive academic program, added to the hormones, etc. It made for a tough couple of years during 6th and 7th grades. And I know too, that when my DD is feeling overwhelmed and doesn't know exactly how to prioritize, she starts to crumble and not know which way to get started.

I would give her some slack for another day or two while letting her know that after the "Break" it would be homework time and you would need to have some sort of "schedule" to look at how she can accomplish everything. Then do something fun together.

~~ Lisa ~~


PeaNut 85,321
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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:00:36 PM
your child has had a run of bad luck for sure and even as adults a few of us would be posting on 2peas and bitching about it
some of us have the life skills to be able to think through these things that happen and put them into perspective as things not to worry about or find other things to be grateful for or find a way to get motivated if we have annoying things to do

i do not understand how parents think children automatically have those life skills and that you should just tell them to suck it up and get on with it

why not talk to her about being positive, reframing situations and finding ways to stay motivated

punishing and chastising her for not being motivated will only add to the myriad of bad luck she feels she's had lately

i get that you have to parent - but cripes kids are people too and they experience all the disappointment in life we do. teach her how to deal with it.

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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:07:43 PM
Cut her some slack. She's 11, NOT 20. She's got a LOT going on right now. I wouldn't let the attitude continue any longer but I think that could easily be nipped with a "I'm done listening to the attitude" type of comment.

Take her for yogurt or a movie and to pick up her spirits and tell her the whining is a thing of the past and that "this, too, shall pass."


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PeaNut 127,675
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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:22:39 PM

6th grade.... Is she over doing it in general? If the school load is that thick normally, I'd back off of any extra curricular stuff.

I wish I could point to her being over scheduled as an excuse for this problem. At least then I would have more control over how to fix it. It seems that the problem lies in the amount of homework, the requirements of the new curriculum and an overall lack of thought put into how much content and how developmentally appropriate that content is.

She is only in one extra curricular activity on Wednesday evening. She attends her religion classes on Monday because we are not sending her to a private Catholic school so I guess you could call that extra curricular. She has a few evenings and nights coming up in early January when she will have to attend rehearsals for the District honor band she is part of but since she takes band in school I consider this a school activity.

I would love to give her a little more time to have a holiday and leave the work alone except we start back to school on the 3rd and time is ticking away.

She finally sat and wrote a rough draft of her abstract and I let her stop for the day. Tomorrow we will sit together and see what we can do to make it better. She then sat with me on the couch and we looked at some of her research for the paper. Right now we are watching a documentary that is part of her research but I think we are losing her interest.

For the record her topic is really cool and she was excited about it at first. She even attended Comic Con with us to do some of the research and got to meet a bunch of celebrities to ask them a survey question for the project. Now that she needs to read more of the reference material and put her thoughts on paper she is not so excited. She would love to just do the presentation board and leave it at that. But evil mom refuses to let her do the fun part until the paper is done!


PeaNut 15,108
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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:37:21 PM
Breaking a leg sucks. Almost everyone I know who has done so has ended up with some (non-clinical) depression around it -- you aren't as mobile as you want to be, you end up dependent on other people, there are many fun things you can't do, you feel lousy because you are not physically active, and, well, it hurts. Throw in a little tween hormonal cocktail, and I think you have a bummed-out kid before you even get to the academic stuff.

I agree with other posters that making a schedule with her that includes specific work tasks and specific fun would be a good idea. And I would try to avoid threatening or punishing the bad mood out of her -- I don't think that works. I have a ten-year-old, and I've found that the best way to deal with her bad moods is to give her a hug, tell her I love her and that I understand she is having some pretty strong feelings right now, and that I don't want those strong feelings to end up damaging her relationships when she is unpleasant to people. Honestly, it pretty much deflates her instantly (although she doesn't have the things your daughter is dealing with right now).

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PeaNut 156,343
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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:46:20 PM
How old is she? From the sound of the work, high school? I was flying solo by then, in re: to deadlines and time management. Maybe back off and let her fly or flop on her own when school starts? You can even tell her you trust her to be responsible and more independent, which it sounds like she wants.

ETA never mind, middle. Yeah, hormonal and bummed, I would be too. And I would probably have reacted similarly to my mom at this point. I like the suggestions re: setting up a schedule with her that includes stuff for her to look forward to.

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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:49:42 PM
She must be exhausted. Poor kid.

My thoughts? Give her a day or so off, remind her one more time... if she doesn't do the work, let her fail. Better to do so now then in highschool, and the lesson will be a good one. Well, a sucky one, but a good one to learn.

The sarcasm tho? i think i'd call her on it next time with a "Look, i totally understand that you're had a crap couple weeks and things have been really, really hard. i hear you and i'd be just as upset and angry at everyone and i know you must be overwhelmed and exhausted and frustrated. However: The attitude is going to stop now. Being disrespectful to me is not an appropriate vent."

Hoep the rest of her year goes way better, even with the tough schoolwork.

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Posted: 12/27/2012 11:14:37 PM
I feel for your daughter. She has a lot going on. It would be tempting to jump all over her, but that isn't going to necessarily help things. Decide what outcome you want (a happy daughter with her math work completed) and how best to get that outcome.

In my house, I would need to show some understanding or the work wouldn't get done. I would pamper the kid as long as work was getting done ... hot caramel apple cider, favorite music on the stereo, and the promise of a rented movie or a favorite dinner. It is not like I have to bribe my kids to get any work done, but when they are working hard, especially over break, I like to take some of the sting out of it.

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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:08:04 AM
Oh this brings back bad memories...

Plan one fun activity but child has to spend X amount of time on "productive" school work. If there are siblings, have them do something school related too.

One year I had to do reading (Victor Hugo, unabridged, in French).

Another year DD had math and science workbook work to do.

Worse was DS and a term paper

Most teens ago through it, it's good practice for college.

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Posted: 12/28/2012 12:37:36 AM
Parenting is HARD WORK, I don't care what age your kids are!

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Posted: 12/28/2012 7:42:54 AM
I'm a high standards parent but am firmly in the cuddle her up and sweeten with treats camp too.

Poor kid. Can she have one fun work free lazy day and then get to it? Broken down into small bites?

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Posted: 12/28/2012 7:47:19 AM
Good grief. It's Christmas break and she's had a sucky go at life right now. Give her some down time. I'd be pretty pissed off at anyone who was constantly hounding me and making me work when I just want to chill out... particularly when I'm on holiday. The work will get done, just back off. You are really too involved in your daughter's work. She needs to do it herself. If she fails, so be it. She'll learn. But it's the holidays and she's had a rough time, so back off.


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Posted: 12/28/2012 7:50:05 AM
I'd vote for breaking down what needs done each day between now until school starts back. In college, I had a list of what needed accomplished practice wise each day. Then it was just a matter of ticking it off the list. You usually end up on a roll and do a little bit more than required. This would put the ball in her court. As long as it gets done that day, who cares if its a noon or midnight.

If the adult peas had a month like this, you can bet they would be in here griping and moaning. Cut the girl some slack. She's still developing communication skills. Let her know that the sass won't fly, but do let her communicate her frustration. Nothing wrong with sarcasm, just work on the delivery.


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Posted: 12/28/2012 8:08:19 AM
I'm sitting on the "back off" camp.

Frankly, if she's struggling in math, I would let the "bonus math" go. Her grade is really not that important in 6th grade and she should be focusing on keeping up, not doing extra credit. If she already is feeling stupid about her ability to do math, hounding her to do "extra" is not going to help the matter at all and will more likely turn her off even more to the subject.

Am I the only one here noticing that you are nagging her about work that is weeks off? I know some people like to have stuff done early, but others work differently. Let HER find HER way to do long term projects. She is not you, and may work better on a different schedule. You being back to work shouldn't be a factor because it is her work, not yours.

I would not put up with the attitude either, but she is clearly (IMO) trying to tell you that you are pressuring her too much. Recharging with a break is as important as getting the work done.


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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:21:01 AM
My DS is 11 as well. In our house he has to do school work before any fun is done each day. When there has been a larger project (like his Science fair or last week's Wax Museum)we sit down with a calendar and breaks up the work to get it done in chunks. We always schedule the work to be done a few days before the actual project is due so that if extra time it needed it is available.

Good luck!

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Posted: 12/28/2012 9:50:31 AM
This thread is interesting.

I get she's had a rough go of it lately, and things are stressful for her. HOWEVER, this is zero excuse to talk to your parent like shit. If she talks to mom like crap, and mom just cuddles up to her or backs off, all she's learned is that talking to mom like shit gets mom to back off.

Consequences for your actions...
AND... cut her some slack. But *not* on talking to you like crap.

If I'd talked to my parents like that, I'd still be looking for my teeth in the back yard.


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PeaNut 218,176
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:14:15 AM
I have two DDs - an 18 y.o. and a 15 y.o. They both went through attitude beginning around the age yours is now. Our approach was the same for both girls:

"You are absolutely entitled to have a crappy day, and be in a bad mood. But you are not entitled to take it out on those at home who had nothing to do with it, nor are you allowed to ruin the day for anyone/everyone around you.

If you feel you must be in a crappy mood, feel free to stay in your room. If you'd like to talk about it, we are always here for you. We are on YOUR side. We are part of YOUR team. You may not treat us as if we're the enemy."

The 18 y.o. has come out on the other side... the 15 y.o. still has the occassional time when I need to remind her of the above but in general we've had far less of this than my sister did with her now 19 y.o. DD. She would frequently say "Maggie's in bad mood" when they arrived at our house for dinner. I would say, "well she'd better be nice to me because I'm the one who made her dinner". Or my sister would say "it's just teenage attitude, she'll outgrow it".

Well she did outgrow some of it but she's still frequently one to be rude/arrogant at family dinners and she doesn't have many friends. I believe it's because my sister allowed her to believe that her (niece's) feelings were more important than anyone else in the room and now that's she's on her own in college, is finding out that other people really don't care what your mother thought about how wonderful you are....

I would suggest the OP have a heart to heart - acknowledge that she's in a temporary sucky period with her leg but that's going to end - sooner rather than later. And, as you grow up, you'll find that sometimes you have to push through things - like homework and other work, even when you're not feeling great.....

It's a Higgs, baby!

PeaNut 120,657
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Posted: 12/28/2012 10:22:51 AM
My kids are older but if I had it to do over I would totally stop the nagging and let her fail. Let her see what it feels like to really blow a deadline. Let her get an F. Let her have to really scramble to catch up and realize sometimes you can pull it off and sometimes you cant and then youre screwed. It wouldnt be easy. In fact it would be downright painful to go through. But I really wish I had taught both my kids this lesson.
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